NAPLES, Fla. - A Marco Island man can't believe what he found in the middle of the road over the weekend. Ray Williams was driving north on Collier Boulevard Saturday morning, on his way to Physicians Regional Medical Center where he volunteers. He was almost there when he came across something in the road. Something big.
"I said geez, I don't know what that is," Williams said. "And I got a little closer and I thought oh man, that's a snake."
Williams avoided hitting the snake, but he worried it could cause problems for other drivers. He pulled the snake off the roadway and called the Collier County Sheriff's Office, and a deputy responded to the scene.
"He was a big guy. I mean I'm 6'2", he was way bigger than I am and he was afraid of snakes," Williams recalled with a chuckle.
An officer from Florida Fish and Wildlife also responded, and informed Williams of what he'd found.
"The wildlife guy got out and immediately said whoa, that's a Burmese python," WIlliams said.
That's right, an eight-foot, seven-inch long top predator. The FWC officer told Williams they would probably skin the snake and try to find an identification chip that could trace the python to an exotic pet dealer.
"I was teasing him, I said if you guys decide to skin that snake, I have a friend who's already ordered a purse and some shoes," joked Williams.
The FWC says they may never eradicate Burmese pythons from south Florida, but they are confident they can contain the population and reduce their impacts on native wildlife. To report any Burmese python sightings, please call 888-IVE-GOT1, or 888-483-4681.